Single Wolf Dad Cares For Pups Alone After Mother Shot In Zoo Escape

A male wolf at a zoo in Englandis caring for his pups alone after their mother was tragically shot last week.

Ember, a female Eurasian wolf at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Bradwell Grove, Oxfordshire, was spotted outside the perimeter fence on July 21, the BBC reported Monday. The zoo said at the time that staff shot Ember as a matter of public safety because they were unable to tranquilize her.

Cotswold Wildlife Park/J Thomas
Ember and her mate, Ash, with one of their pups.

There was no way of using the tranquiliser as they couldnt get close enough to take a safe and effective shot, managing director Reggie Heyworth told the Oxford Times. There were no other options open.

An investigation later attributed Embers escape to the zoos electric fence failing.

The incident has led to public backlash and violent threats toward zookeepers.

Embers death has also left her five 10-week-old pups without a mother. The pups were the first Eurasian wolf pups born at the zoo in the 47 years its been open.

Now the pups father, Ash, appears to be stepping up to the job of caring for them

Ash, our male wolf, is displaying encouraging natural behaviour as a single parent to his ten-week-old cubs, who are close to being fully weaned, said a zoo statement to HuffPost. The cubs, a mix of both male and female, are now eating naturally as they would in the wild with the support of their father.

The father is attentive to his pups and helps them eat by regurgitating food, The Sun reports.

Ash calls to them and they follow him, mammal keeper Hayley Mullaney told the Sun. Hes also very attentive and tends to sit near the den as theyre resting.

Mullaney added that the pups were a bit unsettled by their mothers absence but that Ashs good parenting skills were helping them.

According to the International Wolf Center, typically all wolves in a pack help care for the young, and National Geographic notes its common for male wolves to babysit.

The zoo statement added that Ash is young and this is his first litter, but the zoo is hopeful about the pups future.

We remain confident that the cubs will continue to grow from strength to strength, that Embers genetic heritage will endure, and that her life, though short, will have been worthwhile, she said.

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